The transformation of the US health care system and the recognition of the effectiveness of community health workers (CHWs) have accelerated national, state, and local efforts to engage CHWs in the support of vulnerable populations. Much can be learned about how to successfully integrate CHWs into health care teams, how to maximize their impact on chronic disease self-management, and how to strengthen their role as emissaries between clinical services and community resources; we share examples of effective strategies. Ambulatory care staff members are key partners in statewide initiatives to build and sustain the CHW workforce and reduce health disparities.
Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia (Ms Allen and Drs Brownstein, Jayapaul-Philip, and Mirambeau); and Community Health Worker Network of New York City, New York (Mr Matos).
Correspondence: Caitlin Allen, Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Hwy, Atlanta, GA 30341 (email@example.com).
The findings and conclusions in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.